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The Tyranny of Shoulds
February 12, 2013
shoulding on yourself. —Dr. Albert Ellis
How many of us want to lose weight because we feel
we should? Or maybe we have the belief that if we were more
perfect looking, then we would be loved, accepted, and finally
feel OK about ourselves?
Losing weight because we should causes us to feel
rebellious and resentful towards the whole process. What a
chore! Doing it because we WANT to makes us a willing
participant in the process and that makes it a fun challenge
Trying to lose weight with a core belief of
defectiveness is never a winning proposition. After we lose
the weight, we will find continue to find other things wrong
about ourselves that will reinforce the feelings of
defectiveness. In other words, we will never be satisfied,
because we are not satisfied with who we are at a much deeper
level. We project this outward towards our external body and
If we are living under the tyranny of the shoulds,
then dropping the weight of these can result in a lightening
and freeing of our spirits, far better than any weight loss
Many of us are operating under the erroneous belief
that if we don't try to control and whip ourselves into
submission, that we won't ever lose weight. We are afraid that
without all the self-flagellation, we will just turn into
coach potatoes who never stop eating.
Well the question to ask yourself is this, "Has all
this beating myself up given me what I wanted?" "Is it
truly working for me?" Probably not. In fact, it has probably
driven you to food to numb out all those painful feelings!
People who live by a lot of shoulds are often
rule-based personalities. They are perfectionists, black and
white thinkers, and not comfortable with ambiguity. They can
be controlling and tend to not give themselves or others room
for making mistakes and being human.
They are very detail oriented
and tend towards being critical and faultfinding. They are
often hard on themselves and can be hard on other people
around them, who can be left feeling
like nothing they can do for them is good enough. Or they may
cut others slack that they don't give to
Every personality type has its strength and
weaknesses. This type of personality has many strengths: good
at problem solving, logical and rational, analytical, can be
good at math, science or technology, and very detail oriented.
Their perfectionism makes them very contentious employees and
they always strive to be better.
In relation to themselves and others, they need to
learn to soften their standards, learn to relax and let go,
stop taking themselves so seriously, embrace their humanness,
and allow themselves at times to just be. Life isn't meant to
be one long self-improvement project!
When they do, they become happier people and begin
to feel at peace with life. Their families and spouses often
feel better as well. With this newly found peace and
acceptance, they find their emotional overeating improving
because "how you do food is how you do life!"
Take some time to write out a list of all the
shoulds that are operating in your life. See which ones are
actually obtainable and which ones aren't. Then try to change
the wording of those shoulds into wants or something that is
more realistic. For example, instead of "I should eat
perfectly all the time," change to "I eat well most (80%) of
the time." This is a far better statement or rule that
you can live by.
Change "I should be perfect" to "I want to strive to
be a better person." Change "I should never make
mistakes" to "I'm human and make mistakes because I'm
learning." Delete any shoulds on your list that you don't
really want to do at all or that you're not interested in
pursuing at this time.
Instead of going for perfection, strive for
excellence and give yourself pats on the back for all your
efforts in the right direction. Allow yourself room to make
mistakes and grow, get happy with good enough, and don't use
the yardstick of perfection in everything that you do. That's
the quickest way to squelch your joy.
Remember to stay focused on your goal, but enjoy the process and the journey, for that's where the true learning, joy, and insight lies.
If you're a perfectionist who is having a hard time losing weight contact me for a free consultation!
for the Eyes - Photo by Catherine L. Taylor
The rose is a symbol of love. Why not this
Valentine's Day cultivate more love in
your heart for yourself? Aren't you worthy of your own
love and caring?
few minutes each morning and imagine in
your heart a many petaled rose. Put
your hand over your heart and imagine that the petals of the rose
are unfolding and opening your heart. As your
heart opens, you
are filled with compassion
and love for yourself. This love is your
your whole body being filled with the warmth of this love.
As you hold your hand over heart,
you be well.
May you be happy. May you
be free of self-criticism.
May you know that you are
Inspirational Quotes and Thoughts by Catherine L.
I am losing weight and feeling happier and healthier.
more alive and energetic.
ready to live my best life!
thinner each day!
I have found that people who struggle with food and
emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn
the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional
self-nurturing, developing a spiritual or meditation practice,
and learning to set appropriate limits and goals.
This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to peace and freedom.
The goal of my coaching is to create a lighter, balanced, healthier, nourishing and joy-filled life. You will begin to see results in all areas of your life because How You do Food is How You do Life!®
and mentor people in the areas of: permanent weight loss, food
addiction, compulsive, emotional overeating, binge eating
recovery, creative self expression, spiritual direction,
mindfulness, meditation, self care and stress management, self
esteem and body image issues.
My work is spiritually focused, not religious, and fits with
any belief system you may have, even agnostic. My work assumes
that you have all the wisdom and answers you need inside of
call this place -- God, intuition, Higher Power, inner wisdom,
or True Self -- is up to you. I am simply a guide bringing you
back to the truths that are already inside of you.
want to know more about why and how coaching works click
for a free consultation!
I hope you have enjoyed my newsletter. Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. I love to hear what's working for you and hear your success stories.
Catherine L. Taylor's
How You do Food is How You do Life!®
©2013 Catherine L. Taylor. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reprinted in any form without express permission from the author.
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